Liverpool hope their rivals’ interest in Erling Haaland will open the door to their own £90m swoop, while a candidate for the permanent Manchester United managerial position has spoken out – all in Wednesday’s Paper Talk.
LIVERPOOL PLOTTING CLUB-RECORD DORTMUND DEAL
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has fixed his gaze on landing Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham. What’s more, the German isn’t perturbed by a £90m valuation and Liverpool hope their rivals’ interest in Erling Haaland will leave them free to pursue the midfielder.
That’s according to the Mirror, who put a club-record deal firmly in Liverpool’s near future.
Bellingham, 18, has been a revelation since swapping the Birmingham for Dortmund in 2020.
His rapid rise has already seen him earn 10 England caps at senior level. But for the emergence of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, the teenager would already be a guaranteed starter despite his tender age.
Now, the Mirror state Liverpool are ‘making plans’ to bring Bellingham back to England. And key to their hopes is their belief they can ‘exploit’ their rivals’ obsession with Haaland.
Indeed, Haaland is one of the most in-demand footballers in world football. His reported modest release clause of around £64m next summer will ensure Europe’s elite will wage war for his signature.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are all namechecked as potential Haaland suitors. Spanish duo Barcelona and Real Madrid are also cited.
The Reds are described as ‘focused firmly’ on the midfielder. He could be seen as the natural successor to Georginio Wijnaldum after Liverpool opted against signing a direct replacement last summer.
£90m valuation not enough to dissuade Klopp
Klopp has ‘not been put off’ by an apparent £90m valuation. That figure would break the club’s transfer record – currently held by Virgil van Dijk (£75m).
Any potential bids will be lodged ‘next summer’, and Bellingham’s former side Birmingham City will be watching with interest.
The Midlands club reportedly inserted a sell-on clause into the youngster’s contract. They, as much as Liverpool fans, will be hoping next summer sees the midfielder return to England.